This month, make breakfast a priority


Our list of priorities in the morning can vary from getting the kids ready to go to school, preparing for work or doing hair and makeup. In the midst of all this, breakfast is easy to miss. But taking a few minutes to plan ahead and to make eating a proper breakfast one of your priorities can provide many health benefits.

Eating breakfast provides fuel for the body and brain, improves mood and lowers stress levels. As for the long-term benefits, eating breakfast can reduce chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. Breakfast is good for the waist line too. Research shows eating breakfast helps with maintaining ideal body weight by providing essential nutrients while avoiding temptation to reach for those sugary, salty, fatty mid-morning snacks that tend to result in weight gain.

Here are 6 amazingly easy breakfast options packed with protein, fiber and good fat — the essential nutrients to start your day.

Fruit oatmeal: Add 1 cup skim milk or 6 ounces of Greek yogurt to 1 cup of cooked oats.  Top with 1 cup of fresh or frozen fruits and 2 ounces of walnuts. For extra protein, whisk an egg into the bowl before cooking the oats. To keep it exciting, add variety with your choice of fruit and yogurt flavors.

(Tip: Batch cook the oats and keep in individual containers, adding toppings the night before to have ready as you head out in the morning.)

Warm chocolate and strawberry shake: Heat 1 cup of skim milk. Add 1 teaspoon of drinking chocolate powder, ½ cup off oatmeal and bring to a boil. Add fresh strawberries and blend to a smooth texture for a warm lip-smacking breakfast on a cold morning.

Breakfast salad: Top 1 cup of mixed, cut fruits (mango, grapes, oranges, melons, berries) with 6 ounces of Greek yogurt, a drizzle of honey and mixed nuts. If you find yourself rushing in the morning, this is perfect to make ahead for a grab-and-go breakfast.

Here are two recipes to try if you have a few extra minutes in the mornings.

Toast with savory chutney and scrambled eggs:Prepare scrambled eggs with a salt and pepper seasoning. On a toasted slice of whole grain bread, spread a layer of tomato chutney and top with scrambled eggs. For a balanced meal, have a cup of fruit on the side.

Whole grain bagels with toppings:Halve a whole-grain bagel and top with: (1) 1 slice mozzarella cheese, 1/2 sliced avocado; (2) cottage cheese, sliced pineapple and mixed nuts; (3) peanut butter, banana and chopped walnuts.

 “First seen on The Indian SCENE”